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tv   Public Affairs  CSPAN  December 26, 2012 10:00am-1:00pm EST

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politics and later, kent conrad on the so-called fiscal cliff. >> i just enjoy that it is straightforward, comprehensive, really census what happening -- what is happening without a pundit interjecting and that is what i appreciate. it is defilade a great resource for anyone looking to become more familiar with how government works and the ins and outs of capitol hill. >> cspan, created by america's cable companies in 1979, brought to you as a public service by your television provider. >> they really started to get word in the summer and fall of 1774. the british admiral and generals and diplomats were reporting to the crown that the, less -- that
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the colonists were sending ships ever where to get muskets and can't after the british had sent more troops to boston after the boston tea party and the so- called coercive acts and it is clear that the colonists were pulling together ammunition. maybe they did not intend to use it but that was a big debate. the king prohibited british ships from taking ammunition and everything to the colonies are less it was officially sanctioned. they were very alert to this. as soon as the colony's found out about the order prohibiting ammunition and munitions from being sent to the colonies, in new hampshire and then rhode island, colonist patriots over the monitions so everyone knew
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what was coming in the winter of 7074-1775. >> this brighter suggests that 1775 was a critical launching point of the revolutionary war and american independence. that is sunday night at 8:00 on cspan's "q7a." >> next a discussion with the all women delegation to congress from new hampshire. for the first time in u.s. history, the u.s. delegation of a state will be entirely made up of women. from manchester, new hampshire, this is about one hour, 15 minutes. >> onto the program -- just a little bit on the way the questions were developed for today's event. this is a little bit of an atypical chamber event. questions were developed with input from the chamber's board of directors and the new hampshire women's initiative. there is centered not around issues but around this moment of history.
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the mission is to celebrate the first in the nation status that new hampshire has by holding this event today. rabin will facilitate a conversation about what this moment in time means to these five women. this power will go so fast. i am sure, and i hope, that this conversation leaves you hungry for more. please, share today with your friends, your children, your co-workers. we will have dvd's available. please share this event and moment in history with everyone you know. how this all came together -- the two most common questions i have received over the last week and a half are, number one, do you really have all five of them, and number 2, how did you pull this together so quickly? the answer to the first question is yes, they are all
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here, they are all backstage. it will be out here momentarily. how it came together -- this event sold out in 12 hours. that has never happened for us. but it all started about two days before election day. i had this realization that this was a possibility. this could actually happen. i went to the door of rabin's office and said, what if all of these major offices were held by women? this would be historic. we should do any event if it happens. so, as my friends now, my family, i am a self-proclaimed news and political junkie. on election night and had the tv, my laptop, and my i found, i was watching as the results came in. and it was happening.
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it happened. so yes, there were phone calls, there were e-mails, logistics', food selection, printing, tables, chairs, all the logistics. how this event king together is a question -- what if? what if we could get them. and i am so happy that we have. i am sure all of them will agree that type of vision is what put all of these five women where they are today. that question -- what if? today's event is bigger. it is bigger than political parties, bigger than politics. bigger than the chamber of commerce. today it is history in the making. it is not just a raised glass to these five women. it is a deep tribute to all five of them, all who have gone before them, and all who will follow in their footsteps.
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so with that said, let's get this program going. let's get started. [applause] it is now my great pleasure and honor to introduce our moderator for this morning, the president and ceo of the greater new hampshire chamber of commerce, ms. robin comstock. [applause] >> thank you, everyone. >> and now, the only woman with in u.s. history to be elected as both a governor and the united states senator, please welcome new hampshire's senior senator, senator jeanne shaheen. [applause]
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>> thank you. >> and next, another woman who has a record for making history. she was the first woman to serve as the state attorney general. u.s. senator kelly ayotte. [applause] she was the first new hampshire woman elected to congress in 2006. please join me in welcoming representative elect carol shea-porter. [applause]
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[applause] and our newly elected official representing new hampshire's second district, representative elect ann mclane kuster. [applause] [applause] finally this morning, the new governor for the state of new hampshire -- please join me in welcoming governor elect maggie hassan. [applause] [applause] >> welcome.
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[no audio]so exciting. thank you all so much for coming. good morning. so great to see all of you this morning. thank you so much. i really appreciate it. good morning. we have a lot to talk about this morning. in my world, never enough time -- i am sure yours as well. i'm just going to jump right in. i hope we can have a great, well-rounded conversation. the first question i want to ask you is something we talked about -- on the day after the election, people all over the united states seemed so profoundly excited. viewing it as a historic moment. i have to ask you, what does it mean to you? i'm really wondering -- isn't as significant to you as it looks to us from the outside? i would like to start with you,
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jean, being a senior representative. how does all this field, and how does it look to you? >> i think it is significant. it is important and so exciting that new hampshire is leading the way. [applause] and i think it really speaks to all the women who went before us. annie's mother, who although we were on opposite parties, when i was elected to the state senate she helped mentor me. and people like liz hager, who ran for governor. all these women who really led the way. the fact we have had a legislature that has had so many women in it has really provided training ground for women. hopefully we'll get to a point
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where it is no longer significant, where nobody takes note of the fact we have so many women. >> what about you? carol? does it feel significant? you are in a unique position -- he went away and are back. how did you view it? >> just like the senator said, this has been quite a thrill for me. it is very encouraging, i think, for the younger women to know these opportunities are there now. i heard a child look to the screen and said, mom, all girls. [laughter] >> does it feel significant to you what is happening? >>i appreciate senator shaheen mentioning my mom, because she did work very hard to get more women into elected office. we both grew up with moms who were very active in the state
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house. more and more people are going to see that opportunity for their daughters. the sons will take note. >> maggie, you are the new kid on the block. >> i had the pleasure of the majority leader for the first female majority legislative body, another new hampshire's first, from 2008 to 2010. i have had an opportunity to think about the role of women in new hampshire. it does speak to what i think is our important characteristic as a state. we are an all hands on deck kind of place. on the one hand, it feels very significant. on the other hand, i have been doing this for a while. this is what we do. i would like to give a shout out to my mom, who is actually here. there she is.
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[applause] i grew up -- my first political memory is helping my mom collate league of women voters materials on the table. it speaks to the importance of women leading the way and showing their daughters. >> how are you feeling about all of this? does it feel significant to you? your children are so young. >> absolutely, this is very important. it is exciting. the good thing about having firsts is it will not be the last. i see that -- young women coming out now that anything is possible and anything they set their mind to they can do. that is always the exciting thing. i felt that when i first became attorney general -- we all want to be judged on what we bring and our qualifications.
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i think that is what is exciting about all of this. my daughter, growing up at 8 years old in a very different setting -- my parents are still so involved. my mom is there with our kids this morning, thankfully. one thing that happened with her that really struck me when i got into office -- she came home one day and said, i do not want you to run for president. happen. no chance that is happening. i said, why are you asking me? she said, i want to be the first woman president. [applause] so i think anything is possible. that is what is so terrific about this. >> you all agree this is a significant moment. i wonder if you would, and from the outside it is so profound -- this event is a testimony to that. i wonder if it is as significant as we all think --
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what kind of a weight on your shoulders? you feel a larger weight because of the symbolic moment? do feel a responsibility to be a role model for new hampshire citizens young and old? how does it feel up with your personal role and the weight on your shoulders? >> it does not feel like the weight at all. i grew up with a large family. it scenes during normal to me to have a situation like this. i just know each of us want the same thing, want to do the best we can for new hampshire and the country. that is what men want to do, too, when they take office. i do not feel it is any different in terms of what we want to accomplice. >> how about you? annie? is the new power color in new hampshire.
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we're all mothers, and if you can find peace with teenagers or toddlers, i think you can find common ground. [laughter] >> you have been able to do that? >>what i think is really terrific is the bipartisan spirit. carol and i are going down to washington at a time with the hyper partisanship. people are really divided. what i really want to do is bring common sense, bring those granite state values. women have always worked in new hampshire, since the mills. look at new hampshire history, women have worked for generations. if you want something done, you ask a busy woman. look at the folks around this room. what i feel is we are not unique in this ability, but we do know how to bring people together to get things done. that is the most important quality that any of us could bring, certainly what governor elective hassan is going to face in the state.
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we all need to come to get there. men and women. our country needs our help. >> a great point. fill. you are the second woman governor in the state -- you feel a weight on your shoulders as a role model? >> i think all leaders want to do a really good job. i feel an enormous responsibility to serve the people of new hampshire as well as i can and leave the state a better place, even as good as it is, when i am done. i think men and women share that interest when they decide to serve. we all want to do what is best for the people. >> kelly, how about you? >> i would agree. the weight that i feel is just the challenges our country faces. $16 trillion in debt -- it is a very difficult time in the course of our country.
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that is the way that i feel. a tremendous responsibility the people of new hampshire have placed in all of us. the one to make sure we can do the best job for new hampshire and the country in a very difficult time in our country's history. >> anything you can add? >> as women we have different experiences than men. we bring those experiences to these jobs. it is important to have women's voices at the table. women make up over 50% of the country right now, and it is very important to bring our experiences to the jobs that we have. >> that is a great point. to politics? for your daughter, knowing you were going to run for president? >> not even close. >> how did you get here, and i'm curious as a professional myself, what did you give up to get to where you are today? how is that balance at this
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point in time? >> for me my career is more about sequencing. i had tremendous opportunities that my own sisters did not even have. i knew susan did not come to the state until i was in high school. i had no role models. to be very honest, i did not even think about working when i was in college. i was very fortunate somebody said that the congressman i had worked for on his campaign when he ran for president here said, do you want to come work with in washington? i said, that would be a great idea. how thoughtful of you. [laughter] i went down and had this incredible experience for three years. the young people on capitol hill and the jobs they have -- i travelled everywhere. i thought that was what work would be -- so much fun. then he ran for the u.s. senate
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and told me to go off to law school. he said, you have been on enough losing campaigns in your life. then i went to law school and came back to new hampshire. i had had a big opening at a college that was all male for 200 years. i feel we have been forging our way, but luckily i had a governor shaheen, my mother, who mentored her, and i have been mentored by colleagues. i thing the opportunities are coming in abundance now. doors are open, law schools are more than 50% women. our class going into congress is the most diverse class ever, in all aspects. fascinating.
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so anyone younger than me, there are wide open opportunities. >> we all have a debt of gratitude to governor shaheen and senator ayotte for serving as attorney general. when my mother ran for congress, up 15% of voters would not even consider a woman candidate. when i think of the courage -- for the rest of us, now women on the ballot are very much accepted. >> i have to tell a story. susan used to tell the story about campaigning in that 1980 election. one time she was at a gas station -- annie was with her. the man said, why are you not home taking care of your kids? she said, my daughter is with me -- she is taking care of me. [laughter]
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the man said, then you should be home taking care of your babies. she said, that is my baby and she is taking care of me. [laughter] >> through the generations. your mom must have been a powerful role model for you. >> she was and she is. i grew up in a family -- my mom taught high school history. my dad alternated between teaching college and serving in public service. he was a political scientist. certainly, politics was something we discussed and followed. one of the things i think we do not talk much about -- my dad hired a lot of women to be on his staff. i grew up seeing women very active professionally. when i went to law school i was at the northeastern school of law -- 60% of my class was female. in 1985, that was a huge deal.
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that helped. but we all struggle with work- family balance. we all still think about the impact that our service has on our families, not just as mothers but going into public life, being more visible, what that means for your kids. i'm happy to say that my 19- year-old daughter not only worked on my campaign this summer but has been tor -- interned for senator shaheen. she clearly sees a way to be involved. >> kelly, how about you? did you aspire? we were laughing in the back -- i do not think you did. when did it hit you that you could serve? >> for me, it is finding that thing that you are passionate
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about, you care about. when i became a prosecutor, that sort of brought me into public service. then i realize that public service is really what gets me up every day -- wanting to make a difference. that led to avenge the wanting to run for the senate. i cannot say that when i was younger this was the path that i thought i would take at all. i think it also teaches you that as you go through life there are things that come up. you find something you really care about and go up that path. you end up doing something that matters to you, whatever that is. my mother is a great role model for me, too. she still is my best friend. if you support. she always worked. for a period -- my parents got divorced when i was 6 and she has been remarried for a long time, but we spend time when it was just she and i.
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she is phenomenal. i feel so fortunate to have that kind of strength in my life. >> i should add -- my experience is somewhat similar to kelly's. i grew up in a family that cared about politics. i never thought i would run for office. my son is here in the audience -- he has severe physical disabilities. it was the role of advocating for him -- jeanne appointed me to my first public role to advocate on an education commission. that is what got me familiar with the new hampshire legislature and ultimately led to my first run for office. >> carol, were you born aspiring for politics? >> i grew up in a large irish catholic family. my parents took in every child who needed it. we had three generations in the house. i was pressed into political service when i was 6 years old because my parents were active
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republicans. i carried the signs and whatever. i thought every family thought about religion and politics every night. what brought me to it is exactly what you hear the other women here talking about. i was an advocate. i started a nonprofit social- service agency. i did teach politics and history, so i kept the interest going, but it was really katrina that put me down this path. i came back and said, we can do better than this. that is what started it. a passion for change and to be an advocate. table share that. >> i hear you all talk about service -- when i was a girl, my mother was politically active, she went into the new hampshire legislative when i was 12. she would pile everybody in the station wagon and take us to a
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neighborhood and drop the kids off. we would run down going door- to-door with the leaflets. then she would pick us up at the other end and take us to the next three. but at the end of the day we got an ice-cream cone, so it was all worth it. [laughter] >> all of us had strong mothers. that is what we are hearing here. my mother was my hero come too. i think that is really important for us to understand that we have roles to play. >> that is true -- my father was very involved, not only in hiring the first women lawyers, training them -- i think what i have found, my male mentors through life tend to have had daughters. they become a very passionate about women having opportunities. >> the power of parenting.
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>> i have a father and stepfather that have played a tremendous role in my life. i would agree with that. it is that mentoring and role modeling. >> how do you see the increasing role of women in the electoral change in the future of the state and the nation? you have a lot on your plate. do you see changes? >> i think what we have seen over the course of modern political history is a change from talking about women as a constituency to be dealt with as women as equal citizens to participate. in order to grow an economy, in order to change the way we all need to keep up with the global economy, we need to make sure
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that we are honoring the values that our founders understood so well, which is that the individual liberties and freedoms of every single citizen, bringing women in from the margins to the heart and soul of society is what america about. and when you do that, that is the only way we can get as strong as we need to be so we can succeed in all the areas that we can succeed in and have the potential to succeed in. that is where i see a real change in the discussion. cred think it is incredibly healthy. i think that we will do more great things as we include more and more people. >> i find myself going back to the fore fathers about liberty and justice for all. they were not thinking of the time, but the reality is -- [laughter] remember the ladies. and the reality is those words are as current today.
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there was a tremendous gender gap in my election and i think that the words were very current. >> in terms of voters? >> yes. and the advertising that was used against me was not reflective of women and women voters responded to that. whatever your opinion was on issues, they are no longer women's issues per se. i did not even run as a woman candidate at all. the issues were people's issues. in some families, women do the books and keep track, so they are very focused on topical issues. they are very focused on wages. a great example in new hampshire, equal wages, that is a community issue. 50,000 women are single head of household. there is no other money coming into the household.
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and those families are living in poverty. we can pay each woman a dollar for dollars work instead of whatever, 73 cents, and we could bring all of those kids up. [applause] for me, and for the voters who were with me, they were very much community issues, not malar female. men would come up to me and say thank you for developing my spouse's right to equal wages. who in this economy wants to take some 73 cents on the dollar? >> that is one of the important things to remember about this election. even though we have elected a number of women in new hampshire to lead the state, the fact is that the doors are not open for all women. and part of what we have to do is make sure that the doors are
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open for all women, for everybody, so that people have the same access to opportunity in new hampshire and in this country because we are stronger -- we are a stronger country for it. [applause] >> had uc the electorate? >> can i say that, -- how do you see the electorate? >> can i say that, as she said, every issue is a woman's issue. you have to do with the most important fiscal issues, whether it is national security -- any issue that you think about that impacts the country or the state, as governor, that is really where we all bring different backgrounds and perspectives to it. but when we are elected, i think it is really important to keep in mind that that is where women are concerned about every issue that men are concerned about. they may look at it from a different superbad -- from a
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different perspective. we all do. we have not always been thought of, whether it is national security -- many women handle the finances at home. just thinking of the fiscal challenges that our country faces and how we deal with those challenges, that is one thing i hope everybody takes some with them. it is wrong to say that only certain issues are women's issues. >> you think about military and your leadership role, but your spouse was deployed. when you have young kids -- or was it before? >> it was before we had children. senator shane and i both serve on the armed services committee together. [applause] and there are many issues that
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we're working on together in terms of our men and women in uniform. and national security issues. i think that is what is exciting about all of this, too. it is moving to understanding that we all represent all the broader -- every issue as women's issues. >> i was also a military spouse. the important role -- when my husband was in the service, i was a military wife because that was all i was. so now, serving on the subcommittees for military families, it is so important because we bring a perspective there that is a little larger than the normal role there because you know what it feels like. when somebody is in the military, as you all know, you are all in, you are all serving. >> everybody in that family is giving. and i think we add another dimension to it. also, on the armed services
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committee, we had a hearing one time and we were talking about having an african command. and the men were asking the right questions about the nuts and bolts of it. the women also asked the right questions -- do they want us there? i think collectively, together, we have a much richer story and a better outcome pierre >> that also points out why it is good to have wide representation from the population, with people from all different backgrounds. >> jean ann kelly especially, you go very well together. you work in a bipartisan way. have you mentor other women and men in the senate to do the same -- how do you mentor other women and men in the senate to do the same? [laughter] >> people are frustrated throughout the country about the bipartisanship in washington. we need to change that.
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each is interesting because the senate, as an institution, is set up in a way that makes it hard to get past the partisanship. if you look at the senate come if you're watching c-span, the senate is divided and all the democrats sit on one side and all the republicans sit on the other. and that is the way the tradition says it is supposed to be. in committee, same thing. democrats on one side and republicans on the other. so there is an institutional bias that is partisan. i think it is important for us to try to work together to reach across the aisle because the challenges that we face are too great for one party to deal with them alone. and kelly and i, i think, have made a real effort to try to work together in the best interest of new hampshire. she was talking about us both serving on the armed services committee and we're the only state that has both members on
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the armed services committee. and when we get the generals in front of us, we can really double-team them. [laughter] when there is an issue affecting hampshire. [applause] >> and we do. [laughter] >> it has certainly been a pleasure and an honor to work with senator shaheen in putting hampshire first. there are certainly many things you can disagree on, but there are a lot of things we can agree on forming hampshire. that is in new hampshire tradition. if you look at our state and you look at the history there, there has always generally been both parties working together. and i think that is very much a new hampshire tradition. and when i think about senator
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gregg -- he is somebody that i know work with senator shahene, we had the loss of warren rudman and he was somebody who had very much a bipartisan tradition in the senate when we were both at a remembrance of him in washington. it really struck me how many democrats came up and spoke about how important he was to them. not only been that to washington, bringing that new hampshire attitude to washington. if what can we do to increase cooperation? >> i would echo what kelly has said.
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in the new hampshire state senate, people sit by district and not by political party. i had the opportunity to sit next to two of them. when you're sitting through days of debates and some contention and some contention committee get to know the people you're sitting with for you well. you get to read each other notes and i wonder how long so and so will speak. i was one of the worst offenders. but you get to know each other. when we were on senate finance, we worked on the attorney general budget together. so we have that relationship already, something that we can build on now as she serves our state and i serve as governor. in new hampshire, if you are
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willing to pitch in, we can all get things done together. i want citizens to understand the relationship and goodwill are real. in 2005, our son ben had significant surgery over the summer. later in the term, he had more. he called me every day on my cell phone to see how ben was doing. he was a member of the other political party. and that is the relationship. we are parents first. he understood what my family was going through. you can always build on that. you can always find common ground. he ended up voting on environmental legislation with me after he told me that he was not a tree hugger and he would not do it. it does work and it is important.
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you have to focus on what you have in common with the people of new hampshire have in common >> growing up in everett -- have in common. -->> and growing up in a republican family and you are of a different party, you realize they're wonderful people on the other side of the spectrum. we worked closely with the republicans, especially the women senators for the yard. kelly had the great race to call me after i won. we talk about the yard and our commitment to the military and to veterans. we share a lot. we need to remember that. >> back to the table of seven kids -- >> i feel i was born bipartisan. my mother was republican and i can get along with republicans or democrats or the 42% of new hampshire voters who are tired of either party or are willing to swing back and forth based on the person or the individual.
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kelly was the first phone caller after by senator shaheen. i feel that we can break ground on that. when i got the tour of the house of representatives, they said you could sit anywhere. there is no assigned seating. although the tradition is to sit by party, our new member class is almost 50 members. so we will spread out and we had a great time meeting the republican women when we had our picture taken on the steps of the capital. so i think we will make strong inroads. >> there is much more that unites people then divides people and there is much more light on what divides people. and you just have to work on finding common ground. >> we need about four times a
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year. -- we made to about four times per year. we have dinner together. bipartisan -- we go by barbara mikulski is role. what is set at the dinner stays at the dinner. [laughter] if we were running things, we could be dealing with a lot of the problems more successfully because we have that relationship. >> a great segue to the next question. do you feel female legislators have different responsibilities than male legislators because of the uniqueness or the new news or anything at all? " no. we>> you don't. i can see that on your faces. >> the role modeling for girls -- it was very hard on election day when no standing of the
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polls and families would come right up to me and introduced me to their daughters. i think we didn't have those role models when we were young and that feels different. but in terms of the responsibilities, i think it is very much the same. >> those series of questions run in washington, d.c. this question is a little bit more global. what does gender equality mean to you and how do you see that translated into tangible opportunities for women and men everywhere? you sort of hinted at that. [laughter] [applause] >> there is yet to be a really good woman's parade shoe. [laughter]
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anybody out there, that is a good product to think about. >> we are joking, but the reality is that we still have way too many women, not just in the united states, but around the world who do not have access to opportunities. if you look at women throughout the world, the number people living in poverty is overwhelmingly women and children. if we look at access to property ownership, it is overwhelmingly women and children. and we have to do a better job of addressing those issues. one of the pieces of legislation we have on the floor this week was the disabilities rights treaty, which would have said presented the united states example of the 88 to the rest of the world something that we should all -- of the ada to the rest of the world as something to. unfortunately, there's still an awful lot of legal areas where
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those doors of opportunity are not open to all women. and we need to do a better job at that. >> there is a tremendous toll on women and children and families and frankly for our whole society pick it is a issue that people prefer not to talk about or think about. i remember a secretary coming in wearing sunglasses, but she would get these huge bouquets of flowers. one day, i mentioned the flowers and she says that he sends those after he beat me up and puts it on my credit card. it was a shocking lesson for me to understand what people are living with in their day-to-day lives and trying to go about and get up and get to work
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because they are the most reliable income in the household. in the services that you have done, your leadership there in our everyday life, we have to address women's safety. >> we also need to talk about medicare and social security and why women desperately need that. >> when i was working at the college, when you were looking for a job, there was a women's jobs column and a men's jobs column. and the men's jobs pay more money. you had a terrible income impact on me. if you look at the poverty rate on women and the number of women who rely solely on social security, you recognize that we have not had equality and that these women who have worked, some inside the home and inside the community as volunteers, who have contributed so much
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but they are not protected in old age because they did not actually go and get that big job and that education. those doors are closed. so i do feel responsibility and ensure everybody here feels that responsibility to take care of those women and, of course, the men, but also to make sure that it does not happen again, that the younger women arrive at that age and that they are ok financially, economically. >> to build on that, there are areas that i still think we don't share fully with men in certain areas of responsibility. when you think of the number of women who are caregivers at some stage of their lives, whether it is children or aging parents, and the lack of a really good community-based system or work force to help with caregiving and what the
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responsibilities of caregiving do economically to a woman's ability to earn and save over a lifetime, those are issues that we don't really address well yet as a society and we should because it has a huge economic impact and it has a huge impact on a woman's ability to be independent and set up that nest egg for self. one of the things that we do about in the for herself. one of the things that we do talk about is that we clearly would have the same kind of representation in the new hampshire legislature if it didn't pay $100 a year. [laughter] on the one hand, it is a great opportunity, but is still great volunteer work. one of the reasons you don't see a strong pipeliner women at the state legislative level is
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because these positions carry with them a lot of salary and power that is different in every democratic small deed and hampshire legislative system. >> that is a great sandwich to the next question. although men are rarely ask about fatherhood, what is your experience combining motherhood with politics? anyone want to jump into that one? how do you feel about the affordable care act? would all agree that we couldn't do this without support from our families. i know kelly is dealing with issues of balancing family and her children at a very young age when i was elected governor my youngest was 10 and she will tell you how it impacted her if you talk to heard today.
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[laughter] but stephanie, who is here, who is also one of my daughters -- stephanie actually took the semester off from college and gave up the fulbright to come work on my campaign. my husband quit his judgeship so he could help me when i ran for governor. so that family support is absolutely critical. i couldn't do it. and ensure that there but you would agree that doing it without that family -- i am sure that you would agree that doing it without that family support would be nearly impossible. see my daughters with seven children between them and struggling with those same issues, we have to do a better job at supporting families. [applause]
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we have to think about what time, how we can better support child care givers, early childhood education, all of those things that allow families to continue to be together and to support their children. >> kelly, you're in the middle of it. does it affect your political perspective as well, your experience? >> absolutely. my kids are 8 years old and five years old. obviously, there were much younger when i ran for the u.s. senate. and i have the experience of -- when i was appointed attorney general, i was almost seven months pregnant. so i had the whole host of questions, every single question you could imagine about
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what will happen, a lawyer could be taking care? and both my children were born while i was attorney general, very public. so, yes, you get a lot of questions. because i had been through it as attorney-general and people were used to seeing me in all stages of pregnancy, i thought when i ran for senate i did not expected to be -- the people with us that much and i got a lot of questions. what will happen to your children? so those questions are there. i actually think those questions are there much more for women
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than they are for men. that is just the reality. i feel so blessed. first of all, without my husband, i have a fantastic has been to has been so supportive of me to read everything that i have done, but also a great family as well. my sister-in-law helps us with their kids when i am in washington. also parents, support structure. all of us as parents are struggling with this issue of good child care while we are working and so many families now are 2-parent families working and many of them out of necessity. so this is a challenge for all of us in terms of affordable child care and reliable child- care. that is such an issue for all of us, making sure that, when we leave our kids, we feel good. >> you looked like you wanted to say something. >> when i got into politics, my children were teenagers and represents a different kind of challenge. [laughter] and when i told my daughter, she looked at me and said, just don't embarrass us. [laughter] there you have it, right? hopefully i haven't and your kids do start working with you wonderful thing.
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in manchester, i would see somebody and they would say your son came to my door and asked me to put your sign up. how could i say no? so your children, once they fully engaged, they are wonderful. but you cannot do this without your spouses or whoever is supportive in your life. they really have to give up a lot. and the final part of this though is, if you're older and your teenagers are older, you also probably have older parents. and that is a challenge as well because you want to be with your parents as they age and if they need you. so you always feel torn. but when i said to my mother, who was quite ill last year, something about not being with her. she just looked at me and said you'd better run. that is the kind of support you get from people in your family
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and it lifts you up every rung of the latter. some in people of our lives -- so many people of our lives have helped us through this. >> let's go around the table. what do you hope to accomplish? >> big picture -- will want to serve terms -- we all want to left better. my particular focus is obviously balancing the budget because it all starts with that for our economy, for the state of our state government, for our families. and then making sure that we are growing. in my view, that means that we are attracting innovative businesses here, helping innovative businesses grow here, addressing the skill gap we have in the state by making sure we have the right kind of
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k-12 community college, university system and giving the right kind of assistance, especially to our trade. so that is what i want to focus on. and also just, again, making sure that all new hampshire citizens feel that they have an opportunity to participate, contribute what they have to offer. there's so much that all of the granite state citizens have and a lot of people of talent and energy. we need everybody to participate. if that is how we can proceed, i think we will be better off two years from now. >> i would echo that. my ultimate goal is equal opportunity for all and part of that is general -- is gender- related. i want to give out a shout out to private employers who can do better. i was very fortunate to work part time.
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most people did not know that. i worked four days a week. how was the first part time law partner in the state and my colleagues -- i was the first part time law partner in the state and my colleagues were great. the had to lock myself in a closet for a conference call. my kids were out playing. and the client asked for their children there? yes, my office is next to that christian school. that was true. i just was not in the office at the time. [laughter] but now we are more open about it. we all need to take responsibility. even as i am negotiating with my staff, you can get really great talent if you give them a little bit of flexibility. just let them pick up that 5:15. they are probably willing to come in a little earlier. but workforce development is my big issue. i want to partner with the governor and the senator.
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i think new hampshire has a tremendous opportunity here. we have hard-working folks with great innovation. i am so excited. the businesses that i visited throughout the campaign, what they talk to me about was education, partnering with our wonderful community college system for training and infrastructure. when i used to hear about overburden some government regulation, that is there, but now i was hearing just give us better highways so folks can get back and forth to work. give us broadband give us broadband communication in the north country and the western part of the state. that is what i want to do, better opportunity for everyone >> carol, what do you see for the next year? >> pretty much what we just
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heard, working on job creation, making it easier for small businesses, concentrating on main street to help them. i am also very concerned about education because it is the key to prosperity and it is what businesses need to be competitive. that is important to me. and having it accessible and affordable for families is important. the other thing is that we really need to address a lot of the environmental issues that this country is facing. i have been calling for a program for a long time because i think we can get their using more renewable if we really work on it. and finally, protecting medicare and social security, protecting those benefits. we know that we need to reduce the debt. we realize that is a burden. i was talking about it in 2006 in the campaign. it is not a new issue for any of us. we know that we need to address it. i also believe that medicare and social security benefits are critical. so i hope to be part of the
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solution. [applause] >> kelly, what is on your agenda? what is on your short list? >> the biggest issue for me is that we're $16 trillion in debt. [applause] i am just really worried about the state of our country. we run for years over a trillion dollar deficits and it is time for us to do a big fiscal deal in washington that really drives down the trajectory of our debt. we have to do it. and then come in the senate, we have to get back to regular budgeting. i serve on the senate budget committee. since i have been! =-- since i have been te here, even before that, three years since we have any budget in the senate. -- since i have been there, even before that, three years since we have done a budget in the senate. >> new hampshire is a great model. >> absolutely. this to me is the number one
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overriding priority. and i want to be part of making sure that we finally start getting on the right fiscal track. it is not easy. but there is no easy answer to all of this. and programs like social security and medicare, we have to start talking about how we reform them. because, for example, medicare goes bankrupt in 2024. that is not that far off for people in this room who rely on it. or social security in 2033. we have to have those hard discussions right now to strengthen america because nobody wants to see us see what happened in europe and greece. it does not have to happen here. in conjunction with that, this has to be the best place in the world to do business. economic growth, if we grow our economy, it will help our debt and, of course, more opportunity for everyone. so i hope to work with everyone on this table -- everyone at this table on those issues. worse, always making sure -- of
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course, always making sure that america is safe. we have many challenges around the world. [applause] >> thank you. >> my number one priority echoes what kelly said. we need to come up with a deal that keep us from the automatic spending cuts that go into effect in january and deal with a saner tax system. we can follow a framework as recommended by the simpson- bowles commission that will allow us to protect benefits but will also make some of the tough choices that kelly was talking about. i think we have to put everything on the table for that kind of a deal. we have to look at revenues. we have to look of the domestic side of the budget. we of the look of the defense --
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we have to look at the defense side. and we have to look at the mandatory program. i think we do have to make some tough choices. but i also believe that getting that done will provide tremendous certainty for businesses in this country, for families so they know what we are expecting. and that that will really give our economy a shot in the arm, and get money off the sidelines and allow business to invest in with that creates jobs. that is what we need to do for the future. now, the other party that i have been working on and that we have made some progress but we will continue is the country's energy policy. my focus has been on energy efficiency. energy is the first fuel -- every gallon we don't have to spend up oil, not only saves us money, but also on emissions and helps us reduce our dependence on foreign oil and that is good for our national security. so i think we need a comprehensive energy policy in this country in order to protect our national security, in order to ensure that we begin to clean
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up our environment better, and in order to make sure that we're not sending men and women overseas in harm's way for foreign oil. [applause] >> thank you. >> there's so much to talk about. we are running just a little bit long. if he could indulge me, i have two last questions that i think you're terrific questions. -- are terrific questions. the first, the truth is that we're one of the few democracies in the world that has not had a team of president. why and when will we? [laughter] and could she be sitting among us today? [laughter] kelly, would you like to start? [laughter] >> i think i will be campaigning for a patent daily, my daughter, -- kate daly, for
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president. but absolutely, i think we will have a woman president. i really think it will certainly be in my lifetime if not soon. >> maybe 2016 when hillary runs. >> maybe. [laughter] [applause] >> did you have a thought on that, carol? >> i certainly do. [laughter] run, hillary, run. [laughter] >> i certainly know it will happen soon. the electorate is ready. i think the 2012 election is a real watershed moment in that it feels this way all across our society. i was young with title 9, the first sports teams for women, the schools that were opening up to women, businesses were opening up to women, and now we have reached that typical tipping point where why would you hold back 50% of the brain
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power? >> icu smiling ear to ear. -- i see you smiling ear to ear. >> one of my men -- i see you smiling ear to ear. >> one of my mentors hired a lot of women who had left a big law practices to allow them to work part-time. he hired a lot of women. i once said to him how did you see this working? you were ahead of your time on this film he said, you know, never underestimate the power of a woman with a minivan and a cell phone. [laughter] i always loved that comment. in more seriousness, he really believed that people pay lawyers in the exercise of their judgment. he felt that more different experiences the better the team is a judgment would be. there are studies now that say that corporate boards that have
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both men and women perform better than with just men. and so i think we're all catching on to that. i think that we will see a woman president easily in our lifetime. if it is not your daughter, it might be mine or one of the many girls that comes up to me who says i want to be president. the possibility is there. we are all just so grateful to be able to serve the people of new hampshire's. >> one thing that is really important and i say this tool of -- to all of the women in the audience -- we will get women elected to office. we need more women running. that is at all levels. we have thousands of positions for city council, for school boards, for municipal government that go unfilled every year because people don't run for them. and you can start anywhere. so i would say to all the women in the audience, to all of your
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children, to all of your girls cannot tell them to run because that is how we will get a woman president pierre >> that is a great point pierre >> i had 24 hours to make my decision about running the first time for state senate. i would not have run. i called my husband and said they asked me care at the kids and the law practice and you have your job. and my husband said you are really did this and we will make it work. you can make it work. >> the corollary about the minivan and the phone, my boys, when there were little, they used to say, mom, you are always on the phone. i told them that i get paid by the word. [laughter] >> i would not have run for senate if it were not for my husband. i quit my role as attorney general entered a year-and-a- half off of work. we went from one income -- we
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went from two incomes to one income. that was a big deal in our family. he said, i will make it work. i want your voice there. it does take someone in your life to say, yes, you can do it, i think. you can be there for someone who is thinking about running. >> i ran for four years. it takes a lot out of you in terms of what is possible. our two sons are in college. believe me, those payments are breathtaking. >> the last question for the morning -- thank you for your patience and allowing me to run a little long. as you reflect on the future we're also thinking about the past. what do you think your legacy will be?
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.et's go around the table >> certainly making sure that new hampshire stays new hampshire. we are such an extraordinary place. we are safe. we are a wonderful place of beautiful nature and beautiful resources. and we have this all-hands-on- deck spirit where everybody has the opportunity to move forward. more than anything, i want to make sure that i leave the state better than i found it and a place where we innovate at all levels, showing that, when people of goodwill and great talent come together and brainstorm together and want to solve problems, we made progress and we will lead the country economically and in terms of quality of life. >> what do you hope?
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>> certainly my goal is to work with everyone here and to work across the aisle and to bring common sense new hampshire values to washington. it includes listening, hearing about people's lives. ultimately, at the end of the day, equal opportunity for everyone and equality and justice for all. of the founding fathers and the leading mothers here will bring that. >> thank you. carol? >> i am blessed be part of this history here and to be the first woman to ever go there. that is not the legacy. i hope that the legacy will be that, when people look back at the congresses and look back on the concorde and governorship, did it really make a difference? it made a difference that we showed up and that we left the state in this country in better hands then we found it. that is something to pass on to the next generation.
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>> thank you, carol. >> it does seem too soon to talk about legacy. but i really just hope that i am able to be part of leaving the country in a stronger position physically and making sure that -- fiscally and making sure that our country is safer and stronger. that is the goal. >> thank you. >> certainly, i would echo everything that has already been said. but i will also continue to try and work across the aisle in a bipartisan way because i think that is how we will solve our problems in this country. and also try to make the difference for people. i think that is why i was sent to washington and the hundreds of people who call our office every month to need help with the federal government, with pensions, with their va benefits, whatever it is, and that we can continue to make a difference for them. >> i need to tell all of you
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that it has been -- i sincerely mean -- you know me so well -- it has been a profound honor and privilege to sit at this table with you this morning. i just cannot personally thank you enough for the opportunity. professionally, it has been an extraordinary moment in time is welcome and thank you, thank you, thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> we should also give a shout
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out to our supreme court chief. the list goes on. >> i think it will be the first female will be starring in as chief justice. >> yes. >> a lot of history. thank you. i enjoyed it. >> thank you.
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>> today and c-span, obama campaign strategist david axelrod talks about his career in politics. then kent conrad on the so- called fiscal cliff. the house and senate will return tomorrow. the senate is in at 10:00 a.m. eastern for work on two bills. one is a relief package for areas affected by hurricane sandy. a vote is plan for 5:30 eastern on at least one of those measures. the agenda depends on the status of the fiscal cliff talks. live coverage of the house here
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on c-span and the senate on c- span2. >> if we turn away from the needs of others, we align ourselves with those forces which are bringing about this suffering. >> the white house is a bully pulpit and you ought to take advantage of it. >> obesity in this country is nothing short of a public health crisis. >> i think i've just had little antennas that point up and told me when somebody had their own agenda. >> so much influence in that office. it would be just a shame to waste it. >> i think they serve as a window on the past to what was going on with american women. >> she becomes the chief confidante. she is really in a way the only one in the world he can trust. >> many of the women who were
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first ladies, they were writers. a lot of them were writers, journalists. they wrote books. >> they are in many cases quite frankly more interesting as human beings than their husbands, if only because they are not first and foremost defined and consequently limited by political ambition. >> dolly was both socially adept and politically savvy. >> dolly madison loved it, every minute of it. mrs. monroe hated it. absolutely hated it. >> she warned her husband -- you cannot rule without including what women want and what women have to contribute. >> and during the statement, you were a little breathless and there was too much looking down, and i think it was a little too fast. not enough change of pace. >> yes, ma'am. >> she's probably the most tragic of all of our first ladies. they never shared the marriage. >> she later wrote in her memoir that she said, "i myself never made any decisions.
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i only decided what was important and when to present it to my husband." now, you stop and think about how much power that is. it is a lot of power. >> part of the battle against cancer is to fight the fear that accompanies the disease. >> she transformed the way we looked at these bugaboos and made it possible for countless people to survive and to flourish, as a result. i do not know how many presidents, realistically, have that kind of impact on the way we live our lives. >> just walking around the white house grounds, i am constantly reminded about all of the people who have lived there before, and particularly all of the women. >> "first ladies -- influence
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and image," a new series on c- span produced in cooperation with the white house historical association, coming in february, 2013. >> did look axelrod --did the axelrod is the director of the university of chicago institute of politics. he talked to students about his career. november presidential election. this is an hour and half. >> one of theest things about sitting across from you is that, for all of us who have been part of the institute's staff, we are wondering what youeen thinking, with this experience has been like for you over the last year-and-a-half, two years. so tonight, we get to hear for the first time your reaction to the campaign. >> thank you very much. i want to thank the in boyer
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for the support the university has given the institute politics, including making it possible for us to hire such extraordinary people like steve edwards and been restored and all of the other people -- and ben reeseberg and all the other people. [applause] you have been wondering what i have been doing and i have been wondering what you have been doing. [laughter] >> those who were disappointed by this outcome, the democrats elated by this outcome -- given the conventional wisdom around this campaign, the president's approval ratings that were barely above 50%, often dipping below it, the unemployment around 8%, g growth stock of around 2% -- the conventional wisdom was that should -- that this president should not be reelected.
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as you take a look at what happened two weeks ago, how do you assess this? >> let me just say first that i made a very good living and politics betting agast conventional wisdom. it is a general principle of mine that the conventional wisdom is almost always wrong and it was wrong here. it was wrong here because what we often do in political circles and journalism is that we look at what happened in the last election or past elections and we think it is prescriptive for what it will happen -- for what will happen in the future. it is a much more dynamic process than that. " the assumption was that no the prison had been reelected other than franklin roosevelt with such high employment. but no other president had the same issues going on as franklin
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roosevelt. certainly several hundred focus groups -- the next time we meet, i will have the right number -- we spoke to thousands and thousands of people in a very intimate way. invariably, people would say we are t happy where things are at. and we were talking with swing voters, people who could vote for us or against us, not all for us and all against us. invariably, they would say that things are not the way we would like them, but they were sterile -- there were terrible when he got there a maybe we should demand -- d maybe we should give him a chance. i would tell you that the day
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after e catastrophic midterm election, the shellacking, as the president calls it, i said to them, you know, i really think that the seeds of the election were planted yesterday. the reason i felt that we was because the gravitational pull within the republican party, when the right became so strong in the midterm election, it was clear to me that any republican candidate would have to deal with those forces to become the nominee, would have to go through that and go through very heavy toll to become a nominee in a party that was -- where the gravitational pull was against immigration reform and very much against choice, was against gay marriage, was against a lot of things that were running against the demographic and social trends of the country, where the
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country was moving. and that proved out. mitt romney made a series of bargains to become the nominee for the republican party in order to beat rick perry. he moved to the right of carry on immigration. he moved to the right of rick santorum. he took the grover norquist pledge. he did all the things that were required of a potential republican nominee. but in each of those steps, he made it rder for him to win a general election. and he brought to this some strengths. the other thing that will the president four years ago was that romney was the likely nominee because i believe in the theory of opposites. whoever the incumbent is, people are looking for the brevity, not the replica. and romney would represent a stark difference from obama, a businessman, grounded, t a
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visionary, not an order for. >> so you thought he would be the nominee. you thought that through the whole entire primary process? >> i had a few moments of doubt, as i suspect he may have. but he got to those moments was to do what i said, to move to the right. with each step, i think he made himself more vulnerable. in the abstract, his profile as a businessman ll stay positive, even until the final day. it was the concept of a businessman who knows how to create jobs and so on. that was their message and that was not a bad message. >> you also told mike allen of political that you did nothing to the romney campaign emphasized that. >> i don't think they flushed him out enough. you have to be fully
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mensional. it is not like any other office. people have to know who you are. they have to feel comfortable with who youre. whatever message you build, it has toe built around your biography and it has to be compelling. the romney campaign spent at least 90% of the money in the primary on negative ads and never spent time flushing it out, and developing a portrait of who romney was. after he won the rock -- after he won the nomination, we expected them to do that and create stronger sense among the american people as to who he was. they never did that. that left an opening. >> i want to talk more about the election campaign. let's stick with the chronology. yotalked about the mid a
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tarrative -- the mets narrative. >> i think it is important. the iop and my basic approach to politics is rooted in the belief that it is more than just a game of tactics, strategies and thrust. it means something. what is fundamental and what ultimately made the difference for us, aspects of why we won, was the fact that the president 's fundamental message, which is one that he run it -- that he ran on in 2008, was that we need to not just rebuild our economy, but reclaim the secured the so many americans have lost.
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we needed to put people back to work, but people needed an economy that work. there was a fundamental compacted th we thought was the american dream has been shredded. that was essential. it was clear that governor romney and the side had a much different view, which was more of a top-down kind of approach. if folks at the top did well, that -- their prosperity would lead to the prosperity of the country. we had a much different view. if the middle-class thrives, the country itself will thrive and be stronger. so there was something bigger its stake beyond all that. and i want to emphasize that. but getting back to your question, whether that message was resonant or not, it was part of what we needed to find out, we did spend a lot of time and effort on research, talking to
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voters, along an ethnographic study of thousands of voters, to really get a sense of what was going on in their lives, wh was really important in them and so on. this fundamental concern about the economy and about their own economic prospects was central to those concerns. i learned that narrative was the one that played through big in this race. getting back to my point of the primaries, at our country is becoming more diverse. every election, that diversity is more prominent, in terms of the share of the electorate. latinooters represent and african-american voters represented, and women voters
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would continue to vote in larger numbers than men and often in a different way. so we mapped out a plan and strategy to make the case strongly to those constituencies. while governor romney was separating himself in many ways from those constituencies, we were working hard to develop and furnished our support their, which was -- our support there, which was strong to start with. it was doing a lot of compilation of data about voters around the country, about tracking wre our supporters had been in 2008, who may be more mobile and may not be living where they were before,
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and registration was big part of it. and really identifying the vote that we needed to win and developing an ongoing conversation with these voters to we could mobilize them at the appropriate time. >> i heard it said that it included cross referencing, not only voting behavior, but social activities and the kinds of films like and all sort of behavioral data that you were able to cross reference. >> so much happens online in the social media. including, by the way -- so, yes, a lot of information accrues there, but that is how people share information. one of e main things that we learned was that people were much more apt to accept information from friendsn facebook or elsewhere, twitter, than they were if we were simply
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to campaign or information that they saw on a broadcast. really developing those social networks was essential to our strategy. >> i want to come back to the point made about tactics they not really as important as the bigger message. you know one of the criticisms leveled at the campaign was that it was to tactical, not visionary enough. what is your response to that, that this election was not about the big picture? >> i think it was about the big things. it was how we think about this economy. it was about tax cuts at the top were more valuable to growing the kind of country we need, the kind of economy that we need, investing in things like education and research and development, investing in clean energy and technology, investing
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in infrastructure and dealing with the deficits were more -- in a more balanced way. it was about what our obligations are to each other. it was about big things. those are very, very big things. i will say that, for all of the critique about whether our campaign was about big things or not, the preoccupations of people who write about that -- and i used to do that for a living -- i don't try to separate myself -- many of them are my best friends -- there is an awful lot of horse race coverage of this presidential race. there is such a preoccupation with who will win and who will lose and so little real interest in what the implications are. >> we were talking about
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pulling. >> public polling is so voluminous now. any to kids with an abacus can do a poll of the corner grocery store and some national news are in position will cover it as if it is news. and maybe the billion tommy pulled him out today. -- the billy and tommy poll came out today. it can be done sound yet they produce results that were wholly different than what we knew to be the case. yet it would drive coverage. the gallup poll was wildly deficient throughout this race. just days before the election, they said we were seven points behind. >> what does that do to a campaign on either side in a race when you have that kind of cycle happening? >> we had a wonderful group and a great campaign. we had very solid data and we
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had all kinds of fail-safe apparatuses to check our conclusions. and we were very comfortable with where we were in the race. the frustration was that our supporters would read this and it would spend -- especially in washington, the world's biggest record chamber -- people would get nervous and worried. when tse things happen, you find everyone very generous with their advice. [laughter] the frustration was less than we be worried about where we were but other people's behavior and that it would create a disillusionment among supporters. so we spent a lot of the campaign fighting back against some of these polls. what was remarkable about this race, as looking of the data that we had, it was not how
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volatile it was, but how steady it was. from february through november, we were running in our own data generally a two-point to 4-point lead. we never fell behind. there was a time in september, after the conventions, we had a strong convention and they had not so strong convention, and came the famous 47% tape. we got a six-point or seven- point battleground states lead. some republican leaning voters moved away from romney. and then can the first debate, which we strategically planned a little suspense for. [laughter] >> there were a couple of signal
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poin. >> that last one was a joke. [laughter] >> you have an answer t question millions of tons of how the president would respond in the second debate. take me -- you have answered the question millions of times of how the president would respond in the second debate. take me through it. what was going on behind the scenes? what was going on in your mind? t> i was thinking -- cant' someone else do this? i knew that it was not a good night for us. i did not feel that the president had substantively done as badly as some of our friends thought. msnbc was relentless that night. there were a few others, supporters of ours in the media,
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and sullivan -- andrew sullivan was on suicide watch after the debate. [laughter] i did not think -- i did think that -- one of the reasons the president was a little off kilter was i really believe that the audacity o romney's debate wasing in that the so remarkable. but still had a lot to work with one or not to meet the media, but it was not something that i look forward to any more than i would a root canal. >> what was the biggest surprise? >> a glib answer would be how few surprises there were. that was partly because we had
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really prepared very well. we knew where the race was pierre >> you were confident throughout -- we knew where the race was. >> you were confident throughout? >> i really was confident because i felt that we have the best messenger and the best message. >> what were the moments when you soon to say, wait a second, this thing could turn on us if we are not careful? >> the closest is after that first debate. but i never really felt that it was a hit to the engine. i expected that what would happen is what did happen, that he would get back the republicans he had lost term in happened over the course of three or four days. the race leveled off and never
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really changed much. it widened out a little bit, but never really changed much. but in terms of surprises, i was surprised in little bit about some of the things the other side [indiscernible] i was surprised by the fact that pacs did not go on the air until may against us. our greatest fear was that they would ustheir money to attack us in the first three months of the year when we really wanted -- to respond. we did not have the resources to do that. they gave us a pass for whatever reason. i don't know why that was. i was surprised that the romney campaign did not flush him out
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in a more substantial way when they had the opportunity to do that. i was surprised by his choice of a vice-presidential candidate pierre >> why? >> not a surprise -- candidate. >> why? >> not as surprised as john mccain paused. they played a very much to the base of the party and they needed to broaden out his appeal. there were always trying to grapple with the next challenge on the theory that a major step moving 1 foot in front of the other, just being on the ballot with barack obama because of all of the conventional wisdom you had cited earlier was enough. so the game was just to get to the next square. i think they had concerns about their convention, which was a very conservativeroup, representing many different
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candidates. they never fully embraced romney. i felt that the ryan choice was in part an effort to make sure that that yvette went well. t went well.even t it played in closer to the house republicans who -- congress was pulling 9%, 10%. every poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4%. so to pick someone who he identified as the iellectual leader of the republican party was clearly a very significant leader of that caucus and was surprising to me. brian was so identified with the
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presentati -- ryan was so identified with the privatization and a voucher for medicare idea, instead of talking about the economy, which is where they wanted it to play out, we had a lengthy debate about the economy, about medicare. i cannot think that was to their benefit. our numbers amongenior citizens were probably higher than we anticipated. >> you are noted for the axelrod never as smarte as you think you are. >> you're never as smart as when you win and you're never as dumb as when you lose.
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>> we talked about some of the shortcomings of the romney campaign. what did they do as a whole -- at a whole do well? >> i think it is important for us to carry through on the commitments of the campaign. you cannot treat a campaign as a one off and pursue a different agenda and i don't think the president will. we have lots of real challenges that we need to meet. but there is the uber challenge, this challenge of how we build the economy in the 21st century. that offers the greatest opportunity for the greatest number of people. that will require a sustained, long-term commitment to some of the things i mentioned earlier, to education, research,
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innovation, technology, clean energy, a 21st century infrastructure. health care reforms, to see health care reform through, to see modern oversight ofhe financial system. there are so many things that we have to follow through on here in order to move the ball down the field on that larger question. in terms of what the republican party did right, they raised money well. seriously, they did that very well. whenever expected romney to be able to raise the resources -- we never expected romney to be able to raise the resources that he did. we made a decision that we would spend -- we would overspend from the standpoint of budgeting in the months from may to august on
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the theory that television -- television advertising is impact will in a presidential race in proportion to the attention people are paying. so by september and october, people are disregarding ads and are just wching coverage and debates. it is very hard to point -- i cannot think of a presidential race that was o on the basis of the television ad that ran after labor day. they back loaded. we followed it. i think that was a smart plan on our part. but they had a heck of a lot of money. it was a source of some concern. >> to pick up on that last statement, in chronology, what about 88 -- >> all in the summer.
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>> the lot of ink has been spilled on key supporters of that was as focused as any, a message that they would say not be effectively able to counicate a mesge or effectively follow through on many plants and went over the public behind those plans. when you talk to the sewer skeptical or disillusioned, what do you say? >> i say that president obama promised to win the war -- to end the war in iraq. i was with him when he talked about ending the don't ask/don't tell policy and he did.
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i was with him when he talked about women and making the supreme court more reflective of the country and i saw him appoint two splendid women to the supreme court. i can go on. i was with him when he saved this economy from sliding into a second great depression. and all the time that i was with him in the white house, and i was the keeper of the polling, each time i reported to him what the political calculation behind particular issues was, he was always dismissive. what i like about him so much is that he listened to me so little. and i will give you an example. i was in the room when he decided that we need to intervene to save the american auto industry. today, that may seem like a no- brainer. but back then, he was pulling
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miserably. even in michigan,eople did not want to intervene to save the auto industry. he had a lengthy meeting with the odd note team -- with the auto team. i reported on the pulling and he said, look, i completely understand what people feel that way. but if we don't do anything, we will lose an iconic american institution and a million jobs will go with it in the midst of the worst recession since the great depression. so we need to get them to rationalize the industry can get them to make cars for the 21st century. we have to make that shot. and he did. i think the results are clear now. on health care, i can tegorically report you that there was not anybody who was telling him that taking on health care was a good political issue. we knew even in the campaign, in
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the general election of 2008, what a difficult issue was. we took the offensive on it. the president said we have been trying to solve this problem for 60 years. if we do not do it in the first two years, it will never get done. we're not here to husband their popularity and admire it on the shelf. we're here to use it and get things done and make it permanent difference for the better the life of this country. for the last story, i was with him the day before osama bin laden was killed. i didn't know. by now, i was out of the white house. so i went back there to help on jokes. and we had lunch.
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at the lunch, he hajust been down to alabama where they had a terrible storm and he was telling me stories of those he met down there and finding get the difference at cape canaveral. it was after she had been shot. he never imagid that she would recover from that at all. and it was just a normal conversation. then the speech writers came in and we went through the jokes. we got to play jokes -- port come pawlenty -- poor tim pawlenty. annie says let's take this out. osama bin laden. that is so yesterday. [laughter] let's take it out. and someone says, well, we can
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stick in hosni who was still in power. and obama says, yes, let's do that. and that is not funny at all. but he is the president. [laughter] the next night, my wife susan was sitting over here. where are you? there you are. say hello to my wife, susan. [applause] a k-12 lab schooler. so i went to sleep early and had a television show in the morning. she said would gut, i think they just got osama bin laden. my blackberry was blowing up. my wife turned on the tv.
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and i realized, as i was watching the president, he knew at the time that we had gone togetherhe day before that that he had ordered this mission. he knew that, if it had gone poorly, not only with lives be lost, but our security would be roiled. but his political career would probably be er. and was completely calm because he felt he had done the right thing. i hear what our supporters have to say and i appreciate our supporters. but i am very, very proud of this president and what he accomplished under very difficult circumstances over the first four years. [applause] >> you got your start in politics as a 5-year-old kid. >> yes. >> uralic for jfk.
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-- you rallied for jfk. >> yes. i grew up in a housing community that was developed for a returning war veterans. there was a woman named jesse barry who was from harlem she was a great lady, classic american story. she came up from the south and did not have much of a formal education that had a ph.d. in life. and she heard that john f. kennedy was coming. it was days before the 1960 election and she thought i should see it. so she put me on top of a mailbox on this huge boulevard and i watched as this canyon filled in with people. and this very charismatic young n -- i was hooked. i did not know what he was saying. i did not understand what he was
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saying. how was not that precocious. and i knew it was very important. it was very exciting. now i know from google what he said and part of what he said was i am not running on a platform that says if you elect me things will be easy. being an american 60 -- being an american in 1960 is very hazardous but with hope we will decide which path we take. i thought back at those words over the last four years because was was -- because it rallel to another young candidate. jesse barry had a very difficult life as she had hoped for the future. and i think about what she would have thought, knowing that that little ploboy shook on the mailx would be working for the
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president and that president would be named barack obama. it is incredible. >> politics was a part of the conversation on a regular basis with your parents? >> yes. that was part of my interest. back in the new york city public schools, i had a great teacher. mrs. rauf would read -- mrs. roth would read the newspaper and the about martin luther king. he was rising in all of that, and the civil rights movement and she exposed us to lot. but i was just a junkie. the time i was 9 years old, i was handing leaflets out for robert kennedy. when i was 10, i made a big
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decision and broke with the democratic party and went to work for john lindsay who was running f mayor of new york. i went down to the liberal party headquarters and was handing out leaflets on the street corner in new york'. some women thought this was really cute, this little boy and leaflets. and she asked me why. and i made the case and got i early start in my political career. she said this is for you and she hands this box of pastries. i took a back to the liberal headquarters and we opened it up and the were all of these doughnuts and a lot of $10 bills. one of my early lessons in politics -- the district leader grabbed the money and said you can keep the doughnuts. [laughter] >> you and the friend sold
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bumper stickers for robert kennedy. >> yes. >> and buttons and other things. >> for those of us who lived through it and remember, that was a time of great turmoil, but also of the idealism. when senator obama was thinking of running for president, we had a long talk about it. i said to him, you'reoo young to remember that, but we really have not had a campaign that really energize people in th way. especially young people. we ought to try to build the kind of campaign. i am proud that we were able to do that. i thought about that a lot when i would come to the headquarters in this campaign with hundreds of gifted and well-motivated young kids who wanted to change the world. thats why they were there. there were not there for any
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small reason. >> and certainly the president feels that way. the video afterwards. >> yes, it was such an incredibly moving moment. i have seen a little bit of it the night before. it was his last campaign speech ever for himself. and it all began in iowa talk about these magnificent young people who work with us for a year and a half and he talked about what it meant to him, that they were so devoted, not to him, but to the country and their visn of what the country could be. and the kind of choked up their, but, yes, it was a remarkable moment. what you could not see on the tape, afterwards, he made this very inspiring talk to these young volunteers here he went to
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every single one of them and gave them a hug and talk to them and encourage them. i saw most of them. the next night was a going away party and every single one of them, you could tell the this is something they would hold for the rest of their lives. add to the list of the things that i am proud of, i am proud that the president has helped inspire a bunch of young people to get involved. >> we are here on the campus of the university of chicago and thinking about your time here as an undergraduate on campus. you had a chance to go to columbia university and you decided to come here. >> to have done your research. >> then president obama. tell me who david axelrod is that 20 years old, thinking about the world of politics here
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in chicago. how were you envisioning your future? >> first of all, i came to chicago for a couple of reasons. i had a homer and teacher in high school who said to the whole class -- draw, you get a map and draw a circle run the city of new york 600 miles and go to school out of that. because your parents will never surprise you with a visit if they have to take an airplane. [laughter] but the bigger reason was that i wanted to go to school in an urban area, and a place where the politics were rich. this was four years after the democratic convention, the last of the big city machines were still alive and politics were really vital. i came to the university of chicago probably ill-equipped to take advantage of everything the institution had to offer.
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and a little frustrated because there was no is to politics. there were no outlets. i used to joke -- forgive me if the dean is here or anybody el -- that was 40 years ago. i said i could not find anybody who wanted to talk about anything that happened after the year 1800. [laughter] so i found other outlets for my interests and that i'll let was writing. i went back to new york after my freshman year and got a job at a newspaper in greenwich village. i was hired to write a political columnhen i was 19 for the "the hyde park harold" and it
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was for publication. thisecame the focus of my activity when i was here. and it was largely to state my interest in politics. but i did not have any life plan. i did not expect someday i would be working for the president of the united states. i did not know that i would not be a newspaperman. i really love journalism. as t love and believe in journalism. i worry a little bit about what is happening to it and whether people can find ways to monetized good journalism and if there is an incentive to keep doing it, to keep publishing it. i always tell young people to make a 30-year plan. but it is very rare that you actually execute on it. it is better to follow your passions if you can and go where life leads you.
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where life has led me has been extraordinary up to and including the ability to help start this institute. >> you, as a reporter and political columnist for "the chicago tribune," it has been about eight years? >> yes. >> right out of college. >> yes. >> you were steeped in the world of politics. you told me once that everything you have come to know about politics began here. what did you learn about politics from covering it as a boy? >> tip o'neill said that all politics is local. i thought about that as i travel around the world with the president and i heard foreign leaders and their aides talk about the challenges they were facing. but the same time the world getting together to engage in
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the problems of the world, they were looking over their shoulder at their own constituencies, the other party, and so on. and getting to the motivation, the route interest. >> is the culture different here? is there somhing different here? >> well, that seems like a leading question. look, i mean, i think there is a rich tradition in chicago politics. there is a tradition of politicians trying to get rich. the first is gd and the secon is not. i think the people are passionate about the politics here. politi is very local. i am a big aficionado of urban politics. i have beeto a lot of mayors races around the country because this is where the rubber hits the road. mayors deal with life-and-death
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issues, quality of life issues, and they are responsible, city council members are responsible. and that is something that i think people -- there's something very good about that. obviously, there is a tradition of corruption that h touched our politics. our last two governors are in prison. that is not a shining of for the land of lincoln. but ilso think there are some very good people who cared deeply about the constituents. there is a vitality to our politics that i appreciate. >> we will be taking questions from those of you in the audience as well. in just a few minutes, we will bring up the microphone and ask you to one of behind them. in fact, some of the members of the student advisory committee are up there now. for those of you will have a question for david, please make
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your way down to the microphones and we will take your questions in just a second. there's so much i am fascinated by in terms of your transition from journalism to consulting. but let me jump to the institute politics. it speaks to youinterest in trying to improve the political culture broadly speaking. why start this here now? " partly it is because of my experience four years o. a magnificent institution as this is and attracts so many incredible students, there should be more to expose students to possibilities of a career in the public arena. and i don't mean just as a candidate, but as advisers, as policy people, speech writers, the whole gamut that goes into the public's discourse. journalism itself and coverage
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and analysis. michaevital. very volatil i want to expose students to practitioners in the field who are very good and give them a model to think about as they are choosing careers. because we need talented, well- motivated young people. and it is easy to turn away. there is a lot about our politics that is frustrating and dispiriting, it easy to turn away from it. but if you turn away, you are yielding to those things that make politics dispiriting. the only way to truly change it is to get into the arena and make a difference. in this auditorium and on this campus, there are young people
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who are uniquely equipped to make a difference. when the president tiered up at that the event, he said i feel good about the future because i know every single person in this room in some form or fashion will make a difference. i have run my races and i want encourage you people to get in the arena and run. >> let's move to some questions from the audience. let me start on the left side first. >> at the start of the conversation, you mentioned something about gallup polls not matching up with your own internal estimates. what kind of internal estimates do you have? is it similar to the 538 model or other quantitative models?
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how much do you think that quantitative messages play in the success of a political campaign? >> firstf all, there is a more famous alumnus at this institution. [laughter] [applause] i think it is important to know where you are in a race. the goal is to win, so it is important to know where your and also to understand how people react -- where you are and also how to understand the way people react. so the research is important. but it is only valuable if it is accurate. so we invested a lot in a large number smart people. in the winter, we will be spending six weeks
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[indiscernible] this would be an awkward time to say yes. [laughter] we will spend six weeks really drilling deep into the presidential race, polling and research, and part of what we will evaluate is these public polls, why do they differ so greatly from the data that we had. so they really are important. like anything else, if you abuse them, there can be -- they can be a negative in a campaign. if you're just trying to match up with wherever public opinion is at the time, i think it can be -- polling can be very destructive. but if you understand how to present the idea is that you have and see how people react to them and what you want to come forward and you use it to
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understand wre your strength is and where your strength is not and where to put your resources and were not to, it is invaluable. you cannot run a campaign without good research. it is like building a 747 and leading the guidance system off. -- and leaving theuidance system off. >> previously, you mentioned the surprised that mitt romney chose paul ryan as a running mate. who did you think you would pick? >> -- who did you think he would pick? >> that is a very good question . good questiontim pawlenty -- good question. i thought tim pawlenty. running in these national races is really hard.
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i remember the day that -- we were leaving denver after the convenon and we learned that, on the airplane, mccain had chosen sarah palin. so went to the front of the airplane to senator obama and senator biden had been newly selected as his running mate. he said i thi i am reasonably smart. it took me like six months to figure out how to be a presidential candidate, how to deal with the stop light, how to deal with the national politics. she may be the smartest politician ever and she may be able to come out of alaska to handle all of this. but i will give her three weeks.
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three weeks to the day, she did her interview with katie couric, which effectively ended it for her. [laughter] i thought that they might make a conservative choice, someone who had at least a taste of the national stage or, which was more of a consensus in the political committee, that he might take rob portman from ohio because ohio is so important. portman was a guy who is a center-right conservative, who might be more broad. i think barack was surprised by the jurors. what do you think for men could have changed -- surprised by the choice. >> do you think portman could
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have changed the outcome? >> i don't know. there is a lot of reflection on that in romneyland. >> wh you were talking about the adjustment that obama felt he had to undergo, and tell me what are the difficult things? >> what is different is the intense relentless scrutiny. remember, most candidates get to begin with very little press or no press in rooms of tender 12. he can -- of 10 or 12. he opened up right on broadway. and all of the reviewers were in the front row on the first day. as he was developing his chops
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as a presidential candidate they were already evaluating. if you look at the first four months to five months of the primerica made it was very negative. he was underperforming. he was overrated. >> there was a lot of critique in the first stage. >> yes. they were bad. he said at the time, im not a good candidate, but i will become one. i will learn to become a good candidate and he challenged himself. >> and all of your experience with candidates, what e the intangibles that candidates need to separate? >> i think authenticity. i thought about the sale lot when i was watching the other campaign. george burns used to joke that all you need to succeed in show business is sincerity. and if you can fake that, you
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got it made. [laughter] i think genuine authenticity is important, especially in a presidential candidacy. and barack obama is very authentic. that undergirded us in many ways, an even in this campaign. people felt comfortable with who he was. they were not going to be surprised by him. they knew what drove him. and they felt comfortable. >> another question from this side. >> after a the citizens united supreme court decision, there was a lot of worry about the effect this would have on campaigns, especially with the effect of super donors giving millions and millions of dollars to one campaign. i was wondering to what extent did super pacs affect both sides?
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are those fears -- how founded are they? how much have they come to light? i am wondering about yr views in general. >> the thing to be hopeful about is that a blion dollars or so were spent and then a billion more on the wrong side. and we were able to win. hundreds of mlions of dollars were spent against democratic candides by some of these big republican superta pacs. there were democratic super almost all of their targets, kens lost. the date gran
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i do not think that money -- that put enormous pressure on the mocrat -- democratic candidates and super pac's to match it. it was more so in congressional races -- people gave less information and were more subject to being influenced by ads. we saw some races -- quite a bit of money was spent against bill foster. he won overwhelmingly. $6 million of super pac money was spent against him. tammy duckworth in her race -- she was still able to win. i do not think it is a healthy thing for the body politic to have people writing $10 million, $20 million, $30 million, $40 million checks. but it is a reality we may have
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to live with i we cannot change it. we should try and change it through whatever means are appropriate or available. the supreme court -- the supreme court changes over time, they may want to evaluate some of this. so i am heartened by the fact that we were able to overcome it in this election. i worry about the future. not every candidate will have the particular advantages barack obamthat had in his ability to raise money. >> another question from this side? >> there seems to be a growing consensus or perception that, unlike past democratic president, president obama has not left a ideological format of what it means to be a democrat.
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there is -- there has been a fear that with the party going so big and republicans moving to the right, there could be a battle for the soul of the party in the next four or eight years. do you see a post-obama age -- a civil war-like occasion happening? >> we just pushed the post-obama age off by four years. [laughter] >> i know. even in the next four years? >> what this president stands for -- i talked earlier about the fight we had. i was reading a book some of you may have read that was excellent about clarence darrow. he talked about some of the fights in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. during t gilded age and the
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progressive era. so much of the dialogue -- there were diffences, but the fundamental philosophical debate was very much the same way we had in this election. do we believe that the strength of our country and the economy comes from a broad number of people, the middle class, those working to get into the middle class, or do we believe it comes from the wealth-generating capacity of those at the top? this has been a longstanding debate, and i think it was very vital in this election. president obama can carry the banner high and proudly and well. the things he has done, whether it is health reform or education reform, making higher education more affordable, expanding pell grants, creating the consumer
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financial protection bureau. they are all aimed at one thing -- to create a economy in which we have a vital middle-class and our tax policy reflects that as well. opportunity is broadly available. i think that is solidly in the mainstream of the democratic party. we can have a debate about means of achieving that, and i think we have to do some soul- searching about how in the 21st centur we achieve those goals, and whether all the avenues and pathways that made sense 50 and 60 and 70 years ago are still valid today. many of them may be -- some may t. on the fundamental goals, he is solidly in the position of the democratic party, saw the lead progressive -- solidly
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progressive. i think that is a lot of what the election was about. >> in this election it has been observed that much of the advertising was predominantly negative. i would like to ask -- i know both sides of campaigns engaged in this. including an obama at that scene to insinuate that a woman -- bain irresponsible for a woman losing her insurance and somehow causing her death. ads like that seem to degrade the whole political process. i wanted your comments on negative advertising. >> i agree that there are ads that degrade the political process. i saw many of them in the last campaign. many of them aimed at us. on that particular ad, that was not from the obama campaign.
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that was from the super pac. we made clear that we did not think that was appropriate to accuse romney of somehow being responsible for that woman's death. it was inappropriate. i should point out that that ad ran exactly one time in this whole big country. partly, i suppose, because we made at disapprobion known publicly. were there legitimate issues about bain and romney's business practices? i really believe there were, and it goes to the larger debate. if you outsource jobs and cut benefits and destroy pensions -- profit off of bankruptcy's well workers lose their pensions and their jobs and benefits, ithat a -- it may be a good practice for you. is it a good policy for the
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country? no. there were legitimate issues, but that was not one of them. that was not an appropriate ad. but look -- to your broader question, this was a very tough election. it was tough on both sides. romney, more than 90% of ads run in the primary were negative. he did not change his habits. so we had to make a case well. we spend a lot of time and money, especially during the key period, really trying to define romney. we did. just to get the sequence -- we spent a month in the battleground states running positive advertising about the president. that is how we began our media campgn. >> the thinking they're being -- narrative and the
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accompshments. >> yes. we thought we had plenty to share. and we did. but it was clear that if we just allowomney -- the local chamber of commerce president, if that was the imageeople had, that would not be in our interest and would not focus the race the way it really shed. >> you wanted voters to have -- after experiencing the ads against governor romney -- what were the things you wanted them to feel? >> basically that he was out of touch with their economic expeence and his fundamental view of the economy was not one that incorporates them. but when the47% -- 47% take came
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out it was a ramification of our views. >> he said was the greatest gift -- it reenforce e narrative you were trying to -- >> these kinds of things are either meaningless, like when they tried to spend tens of billions of dollars on the you did not build that thing. it really fell on deaf ears because people did not really believe that was what the president was saying. this tape was not in the statement -- it was like an essay. his remarks after the election seemed to reinforce that. this was his philosophy. this was his view. that was a fundamentally different view than the president's. we made the case -- we made it on a sustained basis. >> i want to get to more questions from the audience, but let me pull back slightly to the
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broader question. have you defend the profession. we have talked a lot about the problems of politics. clearly the questionnaire -- questioner alluded to politics. there are many people who say you want to look at particular causes and forces that shaped the climate -- political consultants are one of them. what is your response to the broad critici about political consultants being associated with the worst elements of politics as opposed to the best? >> some are. you could do this in a principled way and in an unprincipled way. campaigns are hard. if you read american history, you very quickly realized that our campaigns are not anymore -- they are probably much less brutal than some of the campaigns of the past in american history. but because of the amplification
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of television, of now the internet, and so on, there is a broad mass. -- broadness. if somebody says something in kansas, it goes around the world almost immediately. somebody says something like governor romney did in a roomful of supporters that they thought was an intimate setting, that it ultimately was not. that has changed. look, we have had strongly contested elections throughout our history because there are big things at stake. if you do your job right, you want to make sure people understand what it is u are fighting for and what it is you are fighting against. so the choice is clear. i think if it goes to the fabrications and -- or worse, then it is something else.
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>> another question from this side. >> my question is sort of related. do you believe that your campaign and governor romney cost campaign to have a decrease or increase the possibility of bipartisanship in politics? >> i think our campaign has increased the bipartisanship -- is that what you are asking? >> either campaign. >> i do not know whether our campaign or their campaign did that, but i think the voters did. you can see already, there is a different tone in washington. i think elections matter. the voters spoke. even though the race was relatively close, it was not that close in the electoral college. even the margin has expanded now
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to 4 million votes. i think people read those results. i think, for example, on an issue like immigration reform, the prospects for passing comprehensive immigration reform in the near future -- near future are much greater than they were three weeks ago because of the result of the election. i think the chance of coming to an agreement on this fiscal cliff are greater today because of this election. politicians reed election results. -- read election results. i do not know whether our campaign or their campaign fostered the environment for that. i think the voters did, and that is as it should be. >> the last couple queions -- we will come back to this side. >> my question is, in the days following the election there was a fair amount of coverage about
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the divisiveness of the obama for america ground game -- i was wondering, how you need you think that model was for this campaign and candidate, and if this might be the new model, to be replicated -- how is that going to play out in 2016, especially where both candidates will have a contested primary and maybe not the opportunity to set up offices in iowa for a year and a half out from the election? >> the field has always been important in elections. there was a time when the field meant political organizations did field work. chicago is renowned for fieldwork, only it was done by precinct captains for a long time. fieldwork is important. it is not a substitute -- i
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liken it to a football game. the message has to get the ball close enough to the goal lines so the field can win the game. you cannot simply win a race with field. but what has happened is the marriage of social media and a traditional field work, so tha we can -- we are far more efficient at communicating with people. we registered more voters online this campaign than we gistered altogether in the last campaign. so the technology has made it easier to organize. in a weird way, the technology has made it easier to individualize hour appeal to voters and the dialogue with voters. i think what was done with this campaign was light years ahead of what we did in the last
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campaign. whoever is in 2016 will have to reinvent it again because the technology changes so rapidly. twitter was nothing four years ago, and look how important it was in this campaign. one other surprise -- i was surprised at how little the republicans invested in the field in their primary campaign. one thing that really benefited us in 2008 was we had a 50- state primary campaign. from the beginning, we were termined to run a very aggressive and field campaign. we set up operations and all t states -- in all the states. in the battleground states, those organizations sustain themselves. in iowa, that was very
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important. so i would not, given the nature of the process, at least in those early states, if i were running in 2016 i would not do what was done in the republic race, which is turn it into a media campaign. he will not leave any lasting structure you can build on for the general. >> a question over here? >> i was really excited when president obama came out in favor of gay marriage. it felt like a rest and a hard left, but i was surprised by other issues that i felt the american people cared about that the candidates were silent on. such as the drug war, climate change, environmentalism -- it took a long time before they talked about afghanistan. i was wondering if there was any rhyme or reason to those issues? >> i challenge you just a little that -- the president talked
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lot about afghanistan and made it clear we would withdraw our troops in 2014 and that was something he has probably spent a great deal of time talking about. it was only late in the campaign that governor romney engaged on that, and that became a debate in the campaign. on the issue of climate change, there is no doubt that that is a central challenge for us and the world. the president said in his first campaign and in this campaign. some of the things he has done, doubling fuel efficiency. the first time we have raised them in 30 years. doubling of renewable energy. these things are some of the changes in environmental law relative to the missions -- they are all part of that effort. we have got to do more. we have to build on that.
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but it is certainly a commitment. one thing we recognize is that it does not have to be a competition between our economy and our health, because renewable energy and clean energy have economic benefits that are pronounced, and people understand that. so we highlighted the issues we felt needed to be highlighted for voters who are going to make the decision in the election, but the president's agenda is reflected in his work, and i expect he will continue to work hardn this issue is. >> let's take these last questions as we wrap this up. >> thanks for coming back to the university of chicago. i have a quick follow up. yourding super pac's --
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just now reclaim your concerns abou an amended money in campaign financing. on the other hand, we saw earlier today had democrats were already oiling up their machines for 2014 and 2016. what are the prospects for repealing citizens united or comprehensive campaign financing reform now that it seems both sides are ready to embrace the idea or at least merged with their super pac's -- knowing the money has limited powers? >> let's stay with that question in the interest of time. i think it is a substantive one p. >> what i wl tell you -- yes, i think the president said during the campaign that we should pursue other avenues to try and restore sanity to this process. perhaps even include a
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constitutional amendment. but it is also true that no side is going to, given what we just saw, you are not going to see unileral disarmament. it may be foolish to do that. it is not just relative to -- remember, when you are talking about super pac's -- there is a more insidious cousin of vp 501 run campaign ads under the guise of social welfare education and are completely undisclosed. at least super pac's have to disclose their donors. the 501c4's do not. we certainly need to make sure -- i think they would raise far less money if people had to reveal their donations. they would be loth to take some
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the nation's and reveal who they were taking the money from. so we have to pursue all these avenues. in the interim, i could not advise the democratic party to as a matter of principle just lay down arms and get mode over in the next election. i think that would be a mistake. we have to work together. or we have to move together -- we all have to be operating under the same roles, or else we will have a disproportionate result in the election. >> let's take our final question. >> i have always been told to say something proactive before i throw out a curve ball question. >> thank you for the warning. >> i grew up in the south side of inglewood, so -- my hope is that before the session concludes you can share with all of us againow we can contribute to epilepsy research
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and at least temporary retirement of it. now for the curveball -- i have been a south side er doc for three decades and i have a love relationship with the institution. ok -- to my point, medicare, let me step back -- obamacare, i have a love, how long does this marriage have to last, relationship. it is tremendous legislation. it is astounding. people the talking for centuri about this. it is just incredible. i love it for my patients. i certainly do not want us to fall back on ryan-style vouchers for medicare. i know as a er doc that the
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romney solution for universal access is not in my department for many, many reasons. there is something that both republican andemocratic wonks have agreed on. w's budget people agree on it. the sustainable growtrate of medicare is much more insidious and will ruin medicare long before a voucher-style system. how can you have two different parties agree on something so very fundamental and not come together and get it done? >> good question. i want to make one other point, which is that i have a love affair with the institution as well.
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dr. richard landau has been on the medica factor for 60 years. let me answer the medicare question and then finish. there is no doubt that the the medicare program is challenged. wheeling and the life of medicare by eight years with the -- we linda and the life of medicare by eight years with the affordable care act. the question was not ever that we do not need to do something to deal with the challenges facing medicare and an aging population. in the question is how, and whether a voucher program which slowly shifted costs to the beneficiaries ultimately in a crushing weight was the answer, or whether we needed to reform the system and save money in the system.
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that is whwhat we = have to have the determination to do. i am sure there will be discussions about other things that might have to get done. fundamentally, we needo, as they say in washington, make medicine more efficient. >> do you think there is any chance of getting to an agreement on any part of it this first year in the second time in the congress? >> part of it has to do with seeing the affordable care act through. that is a great step forward on november 6 -- we will see it through and it will produce real results in terms of -- we have already seen results in terms of cost containment. i think we will see much more. the rest of it, i think we will see. i think everybody has said we have to have an honest discussion. without limitation. i think that discussion will go
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forward. but let me just address the epilepsy peace -- some of you y know that i have a child. our daughter, lauren, 31 years old now, they found her in her crib and thought she had passed away. it turned that she has had a seizure. we took her to the hospital and saw her have another -- the most frightening thing i had eve seen. a baby having a grand mal seizure. they told us them it was a febrile thing, fever-induced. that you'd be better the next day. we left the hospital a month later and she was still having up to 10 seizus a day. this went on for 18 years of her life. off and on, these flurries of seizures that would not stop.
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they did tremendous damage to her, robbed her of her childhood, robert hurt of many of her capacities, almost of her life. it kills almost 50,000 people a year. susan 13 years ago started a foundation to help find a cure so other families and children do not have to go through what we saw our daughter go through or lose their kids, as we saw many parents and do. and so, fast forward to the mustache -- i made a bet on television with joe scarborough that if we lost pennsylvania, michigan, or minnesota, that i would shave my mustacheff. he agreed he would grow one if we want florida or north carolina. of course i one of the bet. joe negotiated his way out by saying he will give us $10,000
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-- they have been great supporters of hours -- and they would do a fund-raiser for us and we're a fake moustache of our choosing. we then said, if we could raise $1 million by the end of this month for epilepsy research, for a cure, i would still shave off my moustache on "morning joe." this is the final week. we have raised close to $900,000. there istill time. anybody who wants to log on to can contribute. [applause] >> i know i speak on behalf of everyone when i say we look forward to seeing much more of you on campus. thanks so much for everything. >> thank you. i am so exced to be here. i think this is going to be an
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extraordinary institute. students there going to benefit from it. the community will benefit from it. we'll make university of chicago a real destination for the newsmakers, for practitioner in politics. it will be a great addition to what is already a great institution. >> thanks so much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> today on c-span, the budget committee chairman kent conrad followed by a hearing on the benghazi consulate attack in september. later, a look at the future in syria and a both the house and
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senate will return tomorrow. the senate is in at 10:00 a.m. eastern for work on two bills. a vote is planned for 5:30 p.m. eastern on at least one of those measures. the house returns at 2:00 p.m. eastern for a pro forma session. debate is possible in both chambers. live coverage of the house here on c-span, and the senate on c- span2. >> i would like for people to think he might have been a bulldog but he was a man who believed in honesty and integrity and the things that are right for this country and he kept to the principles. i know a lot of people think i
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am a bad guy. i hope they think i am a man of integrity. >> i have served here for 26 years. less than 5% of senators in history have served the long. i am tired of living out of a .uitcase bendin it is time for somebody else to take this on. sometimes, change is a good thing. after 26 years, i felt the need to have somebody else take these responsibilities on. >> tonight, we'll bring your interviews with two retiring members of congress. first, dan burton. then, kent conrad who is leaving the senate after five terms. we spoke to both men about their careers.
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join us tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. >> as president obama begins his second term in office, what is the most important issue he should consider? >> tell us then they make a short video about your message to the president. >> your chance to win a grand prize of $5,000. $50,000 in total prices. for more information, go to >> next, kent conrad talks about fiscal cliff negotiations and proposals for a long term deficit reduction. he will be retiring this year after serving in the u.s. senate since 1987. this is about an hour. >> good morning.
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good to see you all. another day of fiscal cliff or fiscal curve, whatever one wants to term it. what we do know is the law is about to change, all the tax cuts from the bush era are about to expire. across the board spending cuts, some $1.2 trillion over the next ten years. so these are significant changes in law about to occur absent action by the congress and by the president. first of all, thank you, bob for that kind introduction. thanks for being so persist nt. i'm glad to have the chance now to come. in reflecting for my fair well address in the senate, i thought back to what motivated me to run for the united states senate. about 48 years ago i came to washington as a 16-year-old,
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sat in the gallery and watched a debate occur on civil rights. and i thought at the time some day i'd like to do that. i'd like to represent my state and i'd like to debate the great issues of the day. and after that trip i went home and i wrote on the back of an informal that i would run for the united states senate in 1986 or 1988 and i ran in 1986 and won what was considered to be the biggest political up senate north dakota history. so that is the power of a plan. and clearly our country now needs a plan. we need a fiscal plan. we need a plan that is going to bring us back from the brink because most economist tell us on our current course over the next several decades we will hit a debt that will be 230% of our gdp, clearly unsustainable.
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so we need a plan to get us back on track and revitalize economic growth and secure economic future. and we can certainly do that. we've done much tougher things than that in the past. i know that it's fashionable now to bash government. but i think it's worth our while to reflect on what government has accomplished. i will never forget in the fall of 2008 being called to an emergency meeting in the capitol. there were the leaders of the house and senate, republicans and democrats, about 15 in number. the chairman of the federal reserve and the secretary of the treasury in the bush administration. and they were there to tell us they were taking over aig the next morning. and they told us that if they did not, they believed there
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would be a financial collapse within days. that gets your attention. and they went into some detail as to how the financial collapse would unwind if they did not take over a.i.g. the next morning they made their announcement and you'll recall the take over cost taxpayers $180 billion. but just last week we got the news that taxpayers are going to make over $20 billion on the deal. taxpayers are actually going to profit by $20 billion. so that federal action coupled with the recovery act, i personally believe averted a second great depression. and that's not just my view. that is the view of two of the most distinguished economist in the country.
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their review concluded that if we had not had the federal action, we would have had the second great depression. there would have been an unemployment rate of 16% in this country with 8 million fewer jobs. so to those who say governments can't act and act effectively, i believe the history of this period will demonstrate otherwise and quite clearly that the actions that were taken by the federal government at the end of the bush administration, at the beginning of the obama administration, that involved taking over a.i.g., the tarp, the recovery act, that those acts prevented the second great depression.
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were remember where we when president obama took office. the nation was facing the worst economic catastrophe since the great depression. in the fourth quarter of 2008, the economy contracted at a rate of nearly 9%. positive economic growth returned in the third quarter of 2009 and we've had 13 consecutive quarters of growth. this is quite a remarkable turn around. here we were in the fourth quarter of 2008 the economy was shrinking at a rate of almost 9% and within nine months, we were back to growth. that is quite a remarkable turn around given the damage that was done by the downturn at the end of the bush administration. end of the bush administration.


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